"Wow" is the first word that comes to mind when I think about this year's Fanime. I finally had the chance to recuperate from the convention with a good solid night's sleep last night. Monday I had to stay in Santa Cruz with a good friend because I missed the last train to SoCal, and ended up having to wake up at 4:45AM to catch the next one. @__@ Waking up that early after any convention is too much, but after a four day convention plus all the adventuring Faxen
and I did before hand in San Francisco--dear me, that was just exhausting.
But I'm finally in SoCal, visiting with my family and old friends, and finally feel energized enough to do a recap of what was probably one of the best FanimeCons! It was as good as last year for me on a personal level, but so much better than last year's on a technical level. LineCon for pre-reg was completely gone, which everyone has been raving about, and with the convention center finally done with the remodel/extension, the convention center looks so beautiful! Plus, the Artist Alley was back in the convention center itself in the newly added ballroom and the Dealer's Hall was twice as big as years past because they ended up opening up what used to be the Artist Alley to extend the Dealer's Hall.
With all the changes and fixing up of last year's pre-reg system, Fanime has really taken it up a notch and I'm so relieved, given that it was Faxen's first CA convention and all I wanted was for it to go as smoothly as possible! I dropped Ariel for the sake of time, stress, and just so I could cosplay with Faxen all weekend since he'd come all the way from MA with me. There were very few hitches for brief moments like when we checked in with the hotel or when my alarm didn't go off and we accidentally overslept, but those were minor things and the convention was fantastic! From Day Zero to Day Four, we had the best time!
Day Zero was really just a nice relaxing day. We left San Francisco in the late afternoon. Once we got to San Jose, we checked in and then got out badges before I showed Faxen around the area that the con was held so he'd know his way around. Once that was done and I'd passed off the Tetra wig commission I'd done for a friend, I got to work on finishing up Michiru's uniform. I hadn't had the time to paint the plaid onto the skirt because the paints I'd been using back home decided to do weird things so I had to buy new paint. I finished up Michiru and then lace fronted Miria a bit more, but decided not to stress myself out over the perfect lace front since the wig was already pretty good on its own. Besides, I think taking a bubble bath was a much better use of my time than stressing over costumes. It was definitely the way to go and we somehow managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Day One: Baccano!
For the first day of the convention itself, Faxen and I cosplayed Miria and Issac from Baccano! (which is a shining example of anime, and if you can handle lots of blood and gore, I highly recommend it). We got a pretty reasonable start in the day, especially given that the convention didn't really get into full swing until 2PM. My other friend arrived from Santa Cruz not long after we'd finished getting ready, and once we'd got their things in the room the three of us went out to the con.
It was, honestly, the best start to the convention. Faxen and I had barely been in the convention center for half an hour before someone came up to us to give us key chains of Isaac and Miria! It was so unexpected and so amazing. The entire day was fun and full of people being so excited over our costumes and us trying to be as in character as possible. Once we really figured out a rhythm it wasn't hard to maintain it when people asked for photos, and I think people really appreciated that so much.
The majority of the first day was pretty standard otherwise as far as cons go. Posing for photos, running into friends, looking around the Dealer's Hall and Artist Alley. The usual.
We had a photo shoot on the first day thanks to a friend who's always been nice enough to squeeze in some photos for me, and I cannot wait to get those back. (We had another shoot with another super amazing photographer on Sunday for our Baccano! costumes, and those are just amazing! I hope everyone can enjoy the photos once they are up!)
The best of course was taking purikura as Isaac and Miria. We were lucky to get the purikura in that night before a long line formed, but the next night wasn't so lucky and we had quite a tough time managing to get our purikura in for Haruka and Michiru but we did manage it in the end! We were just that determined!
By around nine or so we ended up back in our room, and because it had been such a long week already I called it a night by 10:30 while Faxen went out to explore.
Day Two: Sailor Moon
Day Two we debuted our school uniforms for Haruka and Michiru. These ended up being a big hit too! I wasn't expecting that, given that the sailor fuuku costumes are usually more popularly cosplayed, but people really enjoyed these costumes. We kept our eyes out for other Sailor Moon cosplayers, especially other Haruka and Michiru cosplayers. We also scoured the AA for all the HaruMichi art we could find. It was lots of fun to do that, and we found quite a bit of outer senshi love, though no enough to satisfy us! XD
We also tried to get in a few panels where we could, which is unusual for Faxen, since he's always in such high demand at conventions. We didn't go to a ton of them, but we got in enough over the course of the weekend.
We had another photoshoot with the first photographer Saturday (and then did our own shoot Monday for Haruka and Michiru which allowed us more time to get some of the more couple-y photos that we'd wanted).
The best part other than purikura and all the other Sailor Moon cosplayers and art, was taking a photo in front of the Fanime protester (which surprisingly this year, there were only two that I saw, and both on separate days on their own).
Saturday I managed to have a later night at the convention than the first since I was more rested. Once Faxen was ready for a break from his costume we wandered around a bit and went to some panels before calling it a night.
Day Three: Baccano! (Take 2!)
Sunday we accidentally overslept. Totally my phone's fault and I stand by that. But we didn't oversleep too much. And since we were just redoing our Baccano! costumes, it wasn't as though we were missing out on time wearing costumes we hadn't worn yet. It was a nice start to the day since we got to sleep a bit more, so we just took it slow. Went to a panel first thing after getting food, then wandered off to the convention center for more fun walking around, looking at art and in the dealer's hall, and meeting new people.
At one point, Faxen and I spent an hour and a half watching the most amazingly ridiculous Japanese show called The Hero Yoshiro (I think) and the Demon King. It was the most hilarious thing I've seen. I'm determined to find it and watch the entire series.
The best was when we met some of the steampunk Sailor Scouts! The Neptune was so sweet and all their costumes were just so amazing to see in person. I wish we could have seen the entire group. We had to rush off to dinner though, and we were already behind because I'd had to take photos of the wig commission I'd done in action. We went to the Thai restaurant in the area so I could get my much needed west coast Pad Thai which is just so much better than east coast Pad Thai.
After dinner Faxen changed and went off to explore, and my friend and I roamed the convention for a few hours before we ran into Faxen again and the three of us decided on taking purikura again. I mean, why the heck not, right?
Day Four: Sailor Moon
The end of the convention arrived too soon for me. Tired as I was, I just wanted it to continue. We got back into our school uniforms to finish out the convention as cute space lesbians. We did our photoshoot first, then grabbed food before heading back to the con for the last day.
Day four was filled with a ton of really nice artists offering us key chains or stickers of our characters, and making friends with them or else running into some of my west coast friends and saying our final goodbyes for the time being.
The very end of the con was a wonderful send off with a big group of people dancing at the front of the con center. We eventually had to call it a day though and said our goodbyes to Fanime, then Faxen and I parted ways so I could head to visit my family. There were a few issues with getting to SoCal Monday night, so I ended up arriving Tuesday, but regardless of the hitch, it was honestly worth staying at the convention as late as we did.
I miss Fanime so much and I'm more excited for next year's Fanime than I expected to be given all the concerns that had arisen after last year's convention. But they really turned it around, and I can only imagine that next Fanime will be even better!
Technically I'm not planning another convention for the year, but I may try for Boston ComicCon as Faith since James Marsters will be there; and if I can afford it, I'm hoping to go to AAC since that's always been such a fun convention. However, even if I don't go to anymore cons, I am still planning on some things with Faxen this summer, and I'd like to do photoshoots for certain things.
In the meantime, I'll be posting photos up as soon as I get them!
Hope everyone who went to Fanime had a great time!